89.7 The River presents The No Coast Music Festival!
1:30 - TBA
2:30 - In The Valley Below
3:45 - SAINT MOTEL
5:00 - Icky Blossoms
6:15 - Joywave
7:30 - Bleachers
9:00 - Cage The Elephant
Featuring DJ sets from The Freak Factory's Buzz Junior throughout the day.
Tickets: $10 until May 11th!!
After May 11th, tickets will be $15!
Please visit nocoastmusicfestival.com for more info!
CAGE THE ELEPHANT:
On Cage The Elephant’s third album, MELOPHOBIA, the rock band was faced with the challenge of finding cohesiveness in the ideas of five different people. After touring for nearly five years straight on their prior releases, 2008’s Cage The Elephant and 2011’s Thank You, Happy Birthday, the musicians took some time off the road, to write as individuals before getting back together in August of 2012 to begin work on MELOPHOBIA as a collective.
“As individuals we all had fairly vague visions for how we wanted the record to turn out,” lead singer Matt Shultz says. “They were pretty polar. It really became a challenge to combine all these polar opposites together in a cohesive way. We first started writing material that was very intimate and had a very kind of close and hushed sound to it, but our hearts missed that energy and swagger and playfulness we love so much. Once that came to light, the record really started taking shape on its own. It was the uniting of several different ideas that were really different from each other.”
The album, a varied collection of unabashedly vivid and notably thoughtful rock songs, was written and recorded over the course of a year, with various recording sessions taking place at St. Charles Studio in Nashville over the winter and spring with longtime producer Jay Joyce. The approach was highly experimental and based around the idea that that you don’t write a song, you find it. Along with Joyce, the band focused on bringing each track to its greatest potential, which sometimes posed a significant challenge. Throughout the process the musicians stopped listening to other musical recordings almost entirely and Matt Shultz drew songwriting inspiration from listening to those around him interact.
“I wanted the making of this music to be comparable to drawing your childhood house purely from memory,” continues Shultz. “Your mind recreates things that aren’t based so much on physical truth but more based on emotion. I can speak from my own personal experience that pride and fear are always the enemy when you’re creating. Sometimes we cater toward certain sounds or approaches or deliveries because that is what we think society at that particular time has deemed artistic and we totally lose sight of the fact that art is a form of expression. On this record, lyrically and musically, we really strived to be better communicators.”
The album’s flagship single “Come A Little Closer” is a boisterous, blues-laden rocker and was one of the first songs the band completed for the album. The song marries the raw energy and playfulness the band is known for with their present interest in creating intimately expressive music, both in its pensively poetic lyrics and surging melody. That sensibility carries over to “It’s Just Forever,” the final track the band laid down, which features guest vocals from The Kills’ Alison Mosshart. Mosshart’s yelping croon builds the intensity of the stomping number, an apt juxtaposition to the mid-tempo soulfulness of album standout “Hypocrite” and acoustic closer “Cigarette Daydreams.” Overall the album captures familiar sounds in a new way, balancing a nostalgic sonic aesthetic with a fresh, innovative sensibility and embodying a truly classic voice. MELOPHOBIA resonates with a sense of joyful abandon, which comes from facing those initial challenges head on.
“The more intensely we worked on it and the more we put it under a microscope, the more afraid we became of it,” Shultz adds. “Then we had to overcome that. Sometimes it’s not the most fun thing in the world and sometimes it’s jubilation. Immense joy. It was all about overcoming that fear of creating music under false pretense or with skewed intent.”
MELOPHOBIA follows Thank You, Happy Birthday, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 and has sold over 250,000 copies to date. The album’s single, “Shake Me Down,” spent six weeks at No. 1 on Alternative radio, following Cage The Elephant’s 2009 breakout single “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked,” which landed in the Top 5. Cage The Elephant has sold over 550,000 copies to date and spent 73 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top 200. The band has toured extensively, selling out several headlining runs and performing alongside Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Stone Temple Pilots and Silversun Pickups.
For Cage The Elephant, who originally hail from Bowling Green, KY, the aim is to always improve and evolve, ensuring that each subsequent release and tour represent a step forward. In that way MELOPHOBIA is not so much about a fear of music but a fear of not pushing music to its potential.
“You hope that you naturally evolve as a person and you’re able to apply the things that you’ve learned to your creative works,” Shultz says. “Sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to keep yourself from getting into this place where you’re just dialing it in. That’s what we’re really afraid of.”
JACK ANTONOFF discusses BLEACHERS:
"I didn't plan to start a new project. Furthermore, looking back on it, it was an extremely un-ideal time to make a record, as I was on a world tour with fun. Yet I felt extremely compelled to do it. Many times when I should have been asleep, or resting, or eating, I would go to the studio. In Stockholm, Malaysia, in my room recording all day in Australia, literally all over the place. When I'd have two weeks off, I’d head into the studio in New York or L.A. and sift through everything I had done overseas and figure out what was interesting and what was garbage.
Then one day I realized I had an entire album and that I had made it all over the world. My experience making albums before this was that you lock yourself in the studio for two weeks, make the album, and it's a documentation of the art in that moment. This could not have been more the opposite. I had, in the most literal sense, a wide perspective. I would work on something in South Korea, then I'd come home and be like, "this sounds like someone recorded it in South Korea at 4 a.m. and they're jet-lagged. But this one vocal part is really cool. Let's build on that.”
It took me a second to find the rhythm of the album. I became fascinated with that time in culture when John Hughes was making his classic movies. The music was so incredible — all these epic, unapologetic pop songs with incredible forward thinking production. I wanted to hearken back to a time when the hippest shit was also the biggest shit. It made me mourn the happy teen years I never had. I grew up in New Jersey and went to public high school and was tortured for being gay, and I’m not gay. But that’s how things were then. I felt really disconnected in that formative time. I think we all freeze at a moment in high school in some way. Hopefully you freeze in a moment were you feel like a piece of trash who needs to prove something and be better, not in a moment where everyone thinks you're a blast. It's where the name Bleachers comes from. It conjures feelings of that time for me in a non literal sense. I don't know why, it just does.
I wanted Bleachers to have a nostalgic element, so some of the emotions almost do feel a little John Hughes-y. But I didn't want it to be a retro album. It had to be fully pushed into the future while grounded in that moment that means so much to me. That’s why I brought in the producer John Hill. He is very modern in everything he does. He's always looking for new techniques and a way to differentiate the work. Vince Clarke, from Depeche Mode, Yaz, and Erasure, worked on a bunch of stuff as well and added the grounding in the time period I was inspired by. I mean, Vince literally made some of the albums that inspired me to do Bleachers in the first place. It was really full circle to have one of the people who inspire you to create with you.
Lyrically, I'm writing about a lot of the same things I wrote about with my previous band Steel Train, one of them being my sister dying when I was 18, which completely changed my entire existence. Right before that, 9/11 happened. Like most of us, it had a massive impact on me. Then my cousin was killed in the Iraq war. All this at once was a real end of innocence time period. I went through so much in the aftermath of all that and developed a very intense panic disorder. I had a really hard time for many years before I started to find my way a bit more. But obviously, it is a huge part of who I am. As a result, I feel like the songs are generally about loss and finding a way to pick up the pieces and move on without carrying too many of them with you. But even though they can be really dark, they always come around to something positive. Moments where I think, "Fuck it all," aren’t what drive me to make music. It's more like driving home at 2 a.m. and having a breakthrough about how you're going to survive that makes it into the music."